Published: June 12, 2019
FILE: The tripartite meeting of foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria held a consultative meeting on the situation in Libya on Wednesday
CAIRO - 12 June 2019: The tripartite meeting of foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria held a consultative meeting on the situation in Libya on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez.The meeting comes to follow up the implementation of a tripartite presidential initiative to reach a comprehensive political settlement to the Libyan crisis.Hafez's statement concluded by pointing out that the Tunis meeting comes as a complement to the successive ministerial meetings of the tripartite ministerial mechanism on Libya, held alternately between the capitals of the three countries, where Cairo hosted the last meeting on March 5, 2019.The three foreign ministers will probe ways to halt the current fighting in the North African country and resume the UN-sponsored political process among Libyan factions, especially in light of the ongoing armed clashes in the vicinity of Tripoli, according to a statement by the Tunisian Foreign Ministry.They will also discuss the latest developments in the Libyan arena and steps required to encourage the warring parties to stop the fighting and return to the negotiating table, which in turn could help end the bloodshed and preserve Libya's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement added.The three countries have so far hosted six meetings, as part of the Tunis Declaration signed on February 20, 2017 to find a comprehensive political settlement in Libya.In March 2019, foreign ministries of Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria held a tripartite meeting in Cairo to discuss the developments on the Libyan scene and possible political solutions to its crisis.The three ministers asserted their commitment to backing Libya and its people in that critical phase of its history.The ministers added they would help in achieving national reconciliation in a way that reinstates security and stability in the entire country, affirming their support to Libya’s territorial integrity, unity, independence, and sovereignty.Egypt has hosted several meetings to bring the Libyan conflicted factions to the negotiations table to resolve the Libyan crisis and amend the Skhirat Agreement, which aims at ending Libya’s civil war.The major obstacle in the face of any international or Arab participation in ending the crisis in Libya is the lack of a Libyan partner that would support any mediation. Since 2014, there are two major factions on the ground, one led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, who now controls the eastern side of Libya and works in cooperation with the government of the House of Representatives, known as the Tobruk government. The other is led by Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord.Therefore, there is no official side recognized by all parties in Libya, but there are two opposing factions, roughly equivalent in terms of power, competing for legitimacy. Nonetheless, neither side appears to be able to tip the scales of this conflict in its favor.